NASA’s NuSTAR has been designed to look into the furthest-most reaches of space at some phenomena in the known universe. It has now been turned towards the nearest star to Earth, giving scientists an opportunity to study the Sun.
In the recent past the Nuclear Spectroscopic Telescope Array, or NuSTAR has been sued to study the mysterious gigantic black holes in the universe that are enveloped in blankets of gas and dust, or before that the telescope was used for the heated supernovae.
However now it has produced the most beautiful space image in existence, astrophysicists created a full-disk portrait of the high-energy X-ray-generating processes in the sun’s corona.
To make this beautiful image , NuSTAR X-ray observations (in blue) have been superimposed over ultraviolet observations made by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) and lower-energy X-rays imaged by the Japanese Hinode observatory to produce a wonderfully psychedelic solar view.
One of the most intriguing mysteries in science has been the solar corona, which is the sun’s multi-million-degree atmosphere.
Put simply, the corona is too hot; the tenuous plasma that extends from the sun’s surface can be millions of degrees Celsius hotter than the sun’s uppermost layers. Classical thermodynamics shouldn’t allow this to happen — it doesn’t, for example, get hotter the further you move your hand away from an open flame.
Solar Scientists have pointed NuStar in the sun’s direction to find out these very exact things, they want to discover more about the coronal process.
One theory of coronal heating states that nanoflares, small-scale flaring events, dump massive quantities of energy into the corona, heating it. Currently scientists are unable to view individual nanoflares because they are too small to be resolved, but NuSTAR will be able to catch the X-ray emissions generated by these flares thus the scientists will be able to observe the high-energy X-rays.
NuSTAR has discovered some regions in the sun’s atmosphere, which is rumbling with X-ray activity and contains hotspots over active regions bustling with microflares and, possibly, nanoflares.
“We can seen a few active regions on the sun in this view,” said Iain Hannah, of the University of Glasgow, in a press release. “Our sun is quietening down in its activity cycle, but still has a couple of years before it reaches a minimum.”
This observation was presented on Wednesday at the National Astronomy Meeting in Llandudno, Wales.